FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Maria Blackburn
410-735-6263 (voice)
410-735-6200 (fax)
mariablackburn@jhu.edu

BALTIMORE, June 2012 — Everyone needs a place where they feel like they belong. But when you are a smart kid living in a rural area, finding classes and cultural opportunities, libraries and labs, and teachers and peers to inspire and engage you, can be difficult.

Rural Connections, a new scholarship program launched this summer by The Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth (CTY), addresses this need. 

Rural Connections gives bright seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders from low-income, rural families, the opportunity to attend CTY’s challenging summer programs and join a community of learners. Students selected for the program receive a full scholarship to attend a three-week residential summer program at one of CTY’s 24 U.S. sites, as well as supplemental academic and peer support following the program.

According to a 2005 study by the Belin-Blank Center at the University of Iowa, many gifted students from rural schools encounter less challenging academic programs than their counterparts from suburban and urban schools. These students are also less likely to be identified as gifted, to have access to a well developed variety of programs, and perhaps most critically, to have peers who share their intellectual interests.

More than 120 students will be reached through the three-year Rural Connections initiative. The program is funded by a major grant from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.

This year’s class of 42 Rural Connections Scholars hails from more than a dozen states, including Alaska, Florida, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. They include:

• Yasmin, 12, a seventh grader from Friday Harbor, Wash. Yasmin will study mystery and suspense in literature and film at Seattle University

• Gaynor, an eighth grader from Kingfield, Maine and an aspiring marine biologist, will study biology at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

• Phillip, a ninth grader from Bedminster, N.J., will learn more about logic, the science of proper reasoning, at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa.

• Amelia, a ninth grader from Fairbanks, Alaska who aspires to work for a publishing house, is studying latin at Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles.

• Sajheed, an eighth grader from Cambridge, Md. will study mathematical modeling at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa.

Center for Talented Youth summer programs range from advanced cryptology and zoology to astrophysics and writing. Summer programs run from June 24 through July 13 and July 15 through August 3. The CTY site at Franklin & Marshall College will host 13 Rural Connections students this summer.

Please contact Maria Blackburn at 410-735-6263 for more information.

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About The Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth
A global leader in gifted education since 1979, CTY is focused on identifying academic talent in exceptional K-12 students and supporting their growth with summer and online courses, family programs, services, and resources specifically designed to meet their needs. Education Week called CTY “one of a set of remarkable nonpublic institutions dedicated to the discovery and nurture of the most talented young people for the highest levels of accomplishment.”